HYDERABAD: Netizens in Hyderabad had a mini-panic attack when posts about Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and Instagram likely to be outlawed flooded their feed.
Earlier this week, the Centre had said that if these fail to comply with the new intermediary criteria for social media platforms, they may face a ban in India.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITy) had set a three-month deadline for accepting these rules, which lapsed three days ago.
But fret not! Our virtual world is not going to end so soon. Platforms that do not comply with the new regulations may face legal action, but will not be blacklisted, according to the latest update.
According to Ashutosh Kumar, an IT expert, if an organisation has previously designated a chief compliance officer, the officer will be held criminally liable. Otherwise, the company may have to shut down or cease its operations in the country. Having secured policies for any application is much better than exposing users’ private data, he says.
“I am glad that they have decided to change their policies accordingly and stopped a business fall in the IT industry. I don’t think these social media apps be outlawed anytime soon because the laws are typically applied selectively, ” says Ashutosh. Graduate student Koushik Sharma feels that banning these platforms would make his day downright boring because he would have no other platform through which he can connect with his friends or pass his time checking out memes.
But there’s always Snapchat and web series! Pranavi N, a college student, says: “Prohibiting these apps makes it harder for people to develop their skills. Also, monitoring their activity makes them insecure about their privacy. I have mixed feelings about the issue. Users’ privacy is important.”
Fact of the matter
These social media platforms will not be outlawed in the country anytime soon, according to the new IT guidelines
The new Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021, also referred to as the new IT Rules 2021, are now in effect
This new restriction took effect after social media networks were given a 3-month grace period to comply with the guidelines, which were first announced in Feb
The new guidelines highlight the role for social media platforms to hire a resident grievance officer as part of a larger grievance redressal structure, as well as active content surveillance monthly compliance reports for users, and self-regulation measures
Section 79 of the new IT laws exempts digital media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and WhatsApp from liability for posts made on their networks, as well as third-party material or data
If social media sites do not comply with the new IT Rules 2021, this legal protection will be revoked and digital media platforms will be subject to legal action